Today’s Blog PostCode of Angling Ethics Angling ethics begin with understanding and obeying laws and regulations associated with the fishery. Fly anglers understand that their conduct relative to laws and regulations reflects on all anglers. Angling et…
Today's Blog Post Code of Angling Ethics
Angling ethics begin with understanding and obeying laws and regulations associated with the fishery. Fly anglers understand that their conduct relative to laws and regulations reflects on all anglers. Angling ethics begin with and transcend laws and regulations governing angling and the resources that sustain the sport.
The opportunity to participate in the sport of fly fishing is a privilege and a responsibility. Fly anglers respect private property and always ask permission before entering or fishing private property. They seek to understand and follow the local customs and practices associated with the fishery. They share the waters equally with others whether they are fishing or engaging in other outdoor activities.
Fly fishers minimize their impact on the environment and fishery by adopting practices that do not degrade the quality of the banks, waters, and the overall watersheds upon which fisheries depend. These practices include avoiding the introduction of species not native to an ecosystem, and cleaning and drying fishing gear to prevent the inadvertent transport of invasive exotics that may threaten the integrity of an aquatic ecosystem. In simplest terms, fly anglers always leave the fishery better than when they found it.
Fly anglers endeavor to conserve fisheries by understanding the importance of limiting their catch. "Catch and release" is an important component of sustaining premium fisheries that are being over-harvested. Fly anglers release fish properly and with minimal harm. They promote the use of barbless hooks and angling practices that are more challenging, but help to sustain healthy fish populations.
Fly anglers do not judge the methods of fellow anglers. Fly fishers share their knowledge of skills and techniques. They help others to understand that fly-fishing contributes to sound fisheries conservation practices.
Fly anglers treat fellow anglers as they would expect to be treated. They do not impose themselves on or otherwise interfere with other anglers. They wait a polite time, and then, if necessary, request permission to fish through. They may invite other anglers to fish through their positions. Fly fishers when entering an occupied run or area always move in behind other anglers, not in front of them whether in a boat or wading.
Fly anglers when sharing the water allow fellow anglers ample room so as not to disturb anyone's fishing experience. They always fish in a manner that causes as little disturbance as practical to the water and fish. They take precautions to keep their shadow from falling across the water (walking a high bank).
When fishing from watercraft fly anglers do not crowd other anglers or craft. They do not block entrances to bays or otherwise impede others. Fly anglers do not unnecessarily disturb the water by improperly lowering anchors or slapping the water with paddles or oars.
Fly anglers always compliment other anglers and promote this Code of Angling Ethics to them whether they fish with a fly or not.
The following is a shortened version suitable to be carried by the angler:
Fly anglers understand and obey laws and regulations associated with the fishery.
Fly anglers believe fly fishing is a privilege and a responsibility. Fly anglers conserve fisheries by limiting their catch.
Fly anglers do not judge fellow anglers and treat them as they would expect to be treated.
Fly anglers respect the waters occupied by other anglers so that fish are not disturbed
When fishing from a watercraft, fly anglers do not crowd other anglers or craft or unnecessarily disturb the water.
Fly anglers respect other angling methods and promote this Code of Angling Ethics to all anglers.
I am not perfect. Throughout my life, I have made many angling ethical mistakes (especially when I was a young boy). I am 46 years old now, and for the past 15 years of my life, I have been evolving as an angler. For example, I no longer care how big and how many fish I catch. I care more about the emotional experience that fly fishing offers. For those of you who are not in the know, the mental and spiritual process of fly fishing is more than rods-reels, tight loops, and catching big fish. It's an amazing experience that allows you to create a union between you, nature and your fellow angler; not conquer and kill nature. The decision is yours to make.
Today’s Blog PostFly Fishing KnotsTip #1: Get old fly line, about 24″, and practice while flying in planes, driving, watching TV, etc. Do not tighten fly line. Tip #2: Buy cheapest monofilament line and repeat step #1 and tighten knots. Find…
Today's Blog Post Fly Fishing Knots Tip #1: Get old fly line, about 24", and practice while flying in planes, driving, watching TV, etc. Do not tighten fly line. Tip #2: Buy cheapest monofilament line and repeat step #1 and tighten knots. Find a substitute for the hook, such as a large snap swivel (anything without a sharp pointed hook). Tip #3: Always cinch knots in linear north-south or east-west direction. I.E. don't pull one way with left hand and the other way with right hand. Helps seat knots properly.
The following are MUST know for fly fishing
Arbor: Backing line to spool
Albright: Backing line to fly line
Nail Knot: Fly line to monofilament
Perfection Loop: Monofilament to leader
Double Surgeon Loop: Monofilament to monofilament
Double Surgeons: Leader to tippet
Improved Clinch: Tippet to hook
Saltwater Knots A saltwater set-up (backing, fly line, leader) is identical to the set-up posted above. However, as you begin to use larger diameter monofilament fishing line, and as you tie your monofilament leader to a hook, the clinch knot, may not seat and bite properly. Therefore, the use of the clinch knot is not recommended when fly fishing in saltwater. When attaching a fly to a leader, the preferred saltwater knots generally are loop knots. Why? One, they are easier to tie and hold excellent break strength. Two, loop knots are the preferred knot when fishing flies that mimic small and large bait fish. In other words, when the fly is in the water, the open loop allows the fly to have more natural action. Just be sure to keep your loop size to a minimum. By doing so, you won't spook wary fish.
Today’s Blog PostBalance: Rod – Reel – Line By now, if you have tapped into the info on this blog, you have read information on fly lines, fly rod actions, and fly reels. Now it’s time to put it all together to achieve BALANCE.&n…
Today's Blog Post Balance: Rod - Reel - Line
By now, if you have tapped into the info on this blog, you have read information on fly lines, fly rod actions, and fly reels. Now it's time to put it all together to achieve BALANCE. Once again, the general rule to follow is: match fly rod weight with fly line weight, with fly reel weight. If this is so simple, then why do I see so many anglers with un-balanced outfits? Avoid the follow mistakes while in a store shopping for a rod, reel, line outfit:
Most anglers will pick up a rod, without a spooled reel on it, and wiggle and flex it. Then they'll say things like, "I like the action." Folks, sorry to say, this does very little and some would say, absolutely nothing. The only way you can effectively determine how a rod will feel and flex, is to attach an appropriately weighted reel and line, and then cast it on a lawn, or better yet, on the water. By casting a rod, you'll feel the rod's action and determine if the action is best suited for the conditions you'll be fishing; and also match the action of the rod to your preferred casting stroke (i.e. tight loops vs. open loops). You'll also have the best chance to determine the balance of the outfit. However, a problem associated with this process is that many stores will attach a fly reel and fly line that is not properly balanced for the rod. In fact, many stores will put on a low-cost heavier reel and cheap line because they really don't like folks test driving expensive light weight reels. Bottom line, if you plan to fish with this outfit for many years, if not a lifetime, you should test your rod with a balanced rod-reel-line set-up. PS. I let all my students test my personal fly rods. It gives them a chance to feel what perfect balance is all about. The feedback from students is nothing less than amazement (they all want to buy my set-ups).
After the beginner angler has flexed the rod while in the store, he/she will then review potential reel choices. Most people will make their choice based on the retailers suggestions and their budget. Chances are, the conversation will be dominated by the strength of the drag system and the features of large arbor spools. Another note worthy comment, even if you wanted something different, these days, most stores only carry large arbor reels. Here's the truth, when trying to achieve a balanced outfit, the drag strength and the arbor size, has very little to do with it (especially with rods 1wt-6wt). Instead, focus on the weight of the reel, the quality of the parts (screws, plastic vs. metals, etc), and the ease of use (easy turning knobs, easy changing spare spools, etc). For example: I have used rods and reels, that would be considered heavy by today's standards, that were perfectly balanced, and caused no casting fatigue. On the other hand, I have used super light weight rods, with modern large arbor (heavier) reels that were not balanced well (caution: with poor casting mechanics, this may cause casting fatigue, and even injury).
You have picked out your rod, then your reel, and now it's time to buy fly line. For some folks, this is when sticker shock sets in. As a result, most people end up buying the cheapest line possible. I would strongly recommend reversing the process entirely. In other words, buy the highest quality line possible. But, before buying your line, focus on the water that you'll be fishing, and any factors that would lead you one way or another (WF vs. DT, Floating vs Sinking, etc). By doing so, you'll simultaneously determine the weight of both the fly line and fly rod (and, possibly the action of the fly rod). Once you have picked out your fly line, you now have the ability to selectively choose which rod and reel are weighted properly to give you the desired feel and balance. Be vigilant about achieving balance because, for example, a 5wt rod and a 5wt reel, although suggested by the manufacture to match properly, may not achieve perfect balance. Even complete rod-reel-line outfits marketed and sold by top manufacturer's, may not achieve optimal balance. In the end, if you can place one or two fingers at or near the end of the cork grip (away from the reel), and achieve a level rod, then your entire outfit should be balanced.
Again, focus on perfect balance. Do not under estimate the need for BALANCE. Even though your rod-reel-line does not weigh much, if you you do not have optimal balance, and if your casting mechanics are not perfect, you may encounter problems with stress, fatigue and ultimately, you may injure your body (especially with rods over 6wt).
How I achieve perfect balance with my single handed fly rods:
I use light weight click-pawl reels on rods 1-6wt (no drags). I believe the need for a drag system on these reels is absolutely unnecessary. On rods 6wt-10wt, I use mid-arbor reels because I am not convinced the function/performance and the extra $ for large arbor reels is necessary.
I generally pick the lightest reel and size it one size down. For example: On a 9ft 5wt rod, I will use a 4wt reel. I will then add 6wt line to this set up. Due the larger diameter of the 6wt line and the smaller arbor of the 4wt reel, I will need to add less backing than the manufacturer's recommended guidelines. With my method, to achieve perfect balance, it may take several attempts of spooling and un-spooling line. For me, achieving perfect balance is worth the extra time and effort.
PS. When I am walking-wading (hunting), my dry-fly rod of choice in Patagonia is a medium-slow action 4wt, with 5wt WWF line, on a 3/4 wt click-pawl reel. Many anglers think my set-up is crazy (a bit undersized for my prey), but I do just fine and frequently catch/land fish over 20".